Simpsons Halloween XXVI

The Simpsons Halloween Special XXVI opens with another guest-artist couch gag. This time it’s “Ren & Stimpy” creator John Kricfalusi who digs up one-and-unfortunately-not-done character Frank Grimes (although without the tombstone to tell you his name you’d never know to look at him) to prey upon the trick-or-treating Simpsons children. If Kricfalusi’s house style is your bag, you’ll probably enjoy its embracing of his particular brand of humour. For everyone else, there’s the rest of the episode. Unfortunately.

Wanted Dead Then Alive

“The deed is done. Twenty-four years of trying to kill a ten-year-old child have finally paid off.”

Simpsons Halloween Special XXVI - Wanted Dead Then Alive Review

If there’s a character whose appearances have paralleled the series’ own decline, it’s Kelsey Grammer’s exquisitely-voiced Sideshow Bob. This appearance, at least, gives us a reprieve from his increasingly flat seasonal recurrences but quickly degenerates into violent repetition. Also, the constant reuse of leitmotifs from the peerless “Cape Feare” only reminds us how far the mighty have fallen. That being said, it’s still the highlight of Simpsons Halloween Special XXVI,


Homerzilla

“Oh, I didn’t buy my ticket for this. I just wanted to get a good seat for the next ‘Star Wars‘ – which will stink to high heaven!”

Simpsons Halloween Special XXVI - Homerzilla Review

An uninspired and lazy reference to the classic “Godzilla” films that has precious little to say apart from a few weak jokes based on casually racist stereotypes. Instead, it saves its ‘sharpest’ takedown for the searingly topical subject of the lacklustre Devlin/ Emmerich “Godzilla” movie which came out seventeen years prior to this episode airing. The only meagre joy in this flat vignette is the (possibly accidental) irony of an American parody of a monster which embodied an entire nation’s existential fear of nuclear power reframing that fear as the interruption to a neverending supply of fat-laden sugary treats.


Telepaths Of Glory

“Hmmm…Milhouse has gone mad with power. Frankly, I thought it wouldn’t take this long.”

Simpsons Halloween Special XXVI - Telepaths Of Glory Review

With its finger slightly closer to the cultural zeitgeist, this final segment in this floundering Treehouse of Horror has Josh Trank’s 2012 hit “Chronicle“. Unfortunately like the segments which precede it, beyond figuring out which characters slot into which roles, it doesn’t really have much else to say and, as is becoming more and more common to the point of cliche, it falls apart at the end and uses Maggie (the only Simpsons character the writers seem to care about anymore) as an infantem ex machina to write themselves out of the dead end.


Simpsons Score 6

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